Author of the Body Finder series, Kimberly Derting very genioursly took the time out of her schedule to do an Exclusive Interview with OBS!
Almost immediately I was immersed into the high school feeling with Chelsea and Violet’s banter. How did you capture this easy dialogue?
I’ve had teens in the house for, well, what seems like forever, so I’ve spent some time secretly spying on researching them! It would be hard not to pick up on their banter when my house is constantly filled with teens. Plus, I used my oldest daughter, who’s in college now, as my beta reader for exactly that purpose. I believe my exact words were: “Tell me if anything sounds dorky.”
I am intrigued by how Violet feels rather than hears her victims. How did you decide on the specific feelings (the vibrations, the heaviness, the harp sounds) that Violet gets from her “messages”? Where did you get this idea to match an echo with an imprint?
I wish I had some deep, philosophical answer for this, or something cool, like “it came to me in a dream.” But, really, I just made it up. Apparently, I spend a little too much time daydreaming and I have an overly active imagination.
The subtitle of the book is “a body finder novel.” Does this mean that we’re going to go on more adventures with Violet, Rafe and Sara?
Of course! It was just announced last week that there will be two more books in The Body Finder series, and I, for one, am looking forward to exploring Violet’s unique ability.
Can you tell us if Sara has a gift? Is her gift finding people with gifts?
LOL! Okay, no, I won’t tell you if she has a gift. Not yet anyway. But I love that you’re already thinking about what her gift could be!!!
Why did you feel it was necessary to take Jay and Violet’s relationship up to the next level with sex? How did you feel that it added to the storyline?
I’m not sure I thought it was necessary, but I did think it was a natural progression to their relationship. If they had only just met each other, I might have felt differently. But I didn’t make this decision lightly. As a mother (especially of teens), I spent a lot of time thinking about how some real-world teens behave, and ultimately decided this was the next step for them. You notice I keep stressing for them…because I truly believe this is the kind of decision that shouldn’t be made lightly.
When did you know you wanted to be a writer? And was it a difficult process to get your book published?
I’ve wanted to be a writer since I took a journalism class in the 7th grade. I spent years writing, revising, reading everything I could get my hands on, and learning about the publishing world. And, I wrote two books before The Body Finder. So yes, it was a long, challenging process…but SO worth it!
Who or what would you say your influences were – a situation in your personal life / a particular person / a writer that influenced your writing?
I’m going to go with a writer, because I grew up devouring all of Stephen King’s books, and knew early on that I wanted to write dark and creepy stories. And I fully expect that, one day I’m going to get an internet restraining order from “his people” because I talk about him so often in interviews.
When writing, do you know beforehand how your story will end or do you watch it evolve and see where it leads?
I generally know how it will start, how it’s going to end, and some major plot points along the way. The rest, I’m winging as I go.
What would you tell your readers – why should they read your book and what can they gain from it?
Honestly, I just hope they enjoy themselves! I spent my teen years reading books that thrilled me—books by Stephen King, John Saul, Dean Koontz. I loved how they made me look over my shoulder when it was dark out.
Oh…and maybe that they shouldn’t talk to strangers!
What can we expect from you in the near future? Any other book plans?
Well, I have two more books in THE BODY FINDER series coming out, as well as a short story about Rafe in the Smart Chicks anthology, ENTHRALLED, due out in September! Also, in November I have a new dystopic fantasy coming out called THE PLEDGE…I’m very excited about that!!!
What is one thing you’d like your fans to know about you and/or your books?
Hmm…that I can’t touch my toes? That I drink copious amounts of tea? That I love Skittles?
This is tough, maybe I’m just not deep enough!
How do you develop your character’s individual personalities? Are they inspired by anyone you know or do they have a little bit of you in them?
The characters themselves aren’t inspired by people I know, but sometimes I will take situations from my life (or from friends’ lives) and sprinkle them into the book. There’s an entire scenario between Chelsea and her new boyfriend in DESIRES OF THE DEAD that I took from my daughter’s life. Her boyfriend doesn’t know that I stole that little gem yet, but he will, once he reads the book!
What media do you use to help inspire you while writing (Music, Art, Movies, etc.)? Anything specific?
I use music, but not while I’m writing. I wish I could listen and write at the same time, because that seems so cool! I do have playlists that I listen to when I get stuck on certain scene/sections of the book. Sometimes I’ll just go for a drive and crank the music until everything just works itself out in my head.
If you could spend time with any author (alive or dead) who would it be and why? What would you expect to gain from that experience?
J.K. Rowling. I mean, come on, she created Harry Potter…how awesome is that?!?!